Lewis Hamilton’s appeal fails and Felipe Massa keeps Belgian Grand Prix win

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

McLaren losing an appeal is hardly news, but anyway, it\'s happened again
McLaren losing an appeal is hardly news, but anyway, it's happened again

Lewis Hamilton was not successful in his appeal against the penalty he received in the Belgian Grand Prix.

The FIA International Court of Appeal’s decision means Felipe Massa remains the winner of the Belgian Grand Prix ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Hamilton.

As was widely expected the FIA threw out the appeal on the grounds that it was inadmissible, despite claims they mis-represented the opinions of one of their own stewards to do so, and contradicted a precedent set when Vitantonio Liuzzi appealed a similar penalty last year. Decision in full below:

International Court of Appeal – Decision

At the Grand Prix of Belgium, run on 7 September 2008, and counting towards the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Stewards of the meeting imposed a drive-through penalty upon the driver of car No. 22, Lewis Hamilton, for a breach of Article 30.3 (a) of the 2008 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and Appendix L, Chapter 4, Article 2 (g) of the International Sporting Code.

As the drive-through penalty was imposed at the end of the race, 25 seconds were added to the driver?s elapsed race time in accordance with Article 16.3 of the FIA 2008 Formula One Sporting Regulations.

Article 152 of the International Sporting Code states that drive-through penalties are ??not susceptible to appeal??.

The competitor Vodafone McLaren Mercedes appealed the Steward?s decision before the International Court of Appeal in a hearing in Paris on September 22nd.

Having heard the explanations of the parties the Court has concluded that the appeal is inadmissible.

The International Court of Appeal was presided over by Mr Philippe NARMINO (Monaco), elected President, and composed of Mr Xavier CONESA (Spain), Mr Harry DUIJM (Netherlands), Mr Thierry JULLIARD (Switzerland) and Mr Erich SEDELMAYER (Austria).


Article 16.3 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations provides as follows:

The stewards may impose any one of three penalties on any driver involved in an Incident:

a) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the race without stopping.

b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop at his pit for at least ten seconds and then re-join the race.

c) a drop of ten grid positions at the driver?s next Event.

However, should either of the penalties under a) and b) above be imposed during the last five laps, or after the end of a race, Article 16.4b) below will not apply and 25 seconds will be added to the elapsed race time of the driver concerned.

Paragraph 5 of Article 152 of the International Sporting Code provides as follows:

Penalties of driving through or stopping in pit lanes together with certain penalties specified in FIA Championship regulations where this is expressly stated, are not susceptible to appeal.

The FIA verdict in full

164 comments on “Lewis Hamilton’s appeal fails and Felipe Massa keeps Belgian Grand Prix win”

  1. Sadly, once again the sport has been made to look like the loser.

    In a perfect world you’d hope that the FIA would take a long, hard look at themselves over how they’ve handled this and implement some changes to clean up their act.
    It ain’t gonna happen though is it?

  2. Since the same organization felt the need the clarify and explain the rule they used for the penalty after the penalty was already given, this is further evidence that they don’t really care about fair judgement at all. No surprise.

  3. So we wait 2 days to discover that FIA can’t be trusted :)

    From what was published from yesterday hearing it was logical that FIA will make just a easy escape from all crap which was produced …

    And now my logical question is: what exactly FIA do for Formula 1 ?

    “The FIA has been dedicated to representing the rights of motoring organisations and motor car users throughout the world via campaigns and activities that defend their interests. On issues such as safety, mobility, the environment and consumer law the FIA actively promotes the interests of motorists at the United Nations, within the European Union and through other international bodies.

    The FIA is also the governing body for motor sport worldwide. It administers the rules and regulations for all international four-wheel motor sport including the FIA Formula One World Championship, FIA World Rally Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship.”

    So far FIA make some real good things for safety …
    But we have total mess of rules and regulations…

    so did Formula 1 really need FIA ?

  4. What an extraordinary waste of time.. how can it be either justice or not when the appeal itself is rejected – which surely could have been decided without the necessity of FIA and Ferrari lawyers cross examining Hamilton and McLaren playing tapes etc.. Just when you think it’s can’t get anymore embarrassing for FIA they pull another blinder.. I’m not generally one for conspiracy theories or partizan team feelings but have got to say there feels like an agenda down at FIA..

  5. I’m not really surprised that the FIA took the easy route of declaring the appeal inadmissible. Are they going to bother to explain how this 25 second penalty is different from Liuzzi’s 25 second penalty in 2007, which explicitly was admissible?

    http://www.fia.com/en-GB/the-fia/court_appeal/judgments/Documents/12-10-2007-ica-ToroRosso-a.pdf [see paragraph 3 on page 3]

  6. Awful but not surprising. What an absolute joke F1 appears to be now.

    I’ve spoken to a few people who don’t know anything about F1 or the rules, but from what they’ve seen in the newspapers etc over the last few weeks, they have come to the obvious conclusion that:

    a. F1 rules and governance are in a mess and not at all clear
    b. the FiA have got in in for Lewis Hamilton big time
    c. is it because he is black?

    Sorry, that is the impression my friends have – actually that seems very much to be the truth also.

  7. The best way to reduce costs in F1, Max?
    Stop holding farcical court cases…

  8. Well I never…
    The FIA is nothing if not predictable.

    The one light of integrity, Charlie Whiting, is sadly dimmed as far as I am concerned.

  9. Awful but not surprising. F1 is now officially a joke.

    I’ve been talking to friends recently about this case who don’t know anything about F1, but have been reading about the case. They have come to the conclusion that

    a. F1 rules and governance are in a mess and totally unclear
    b. the FiA have it in for Lewis Hamilton big time
    c. is it because he is black?

    Well that is the impression they get about F1, and I suppose it’s true as far as I can see, as someone who knows a lot more about it than them. The awful impression is the actuality.

  10. Typical FIA corruption. They listen to the appeal and decided that on the facts McLaren had a case so they then find a loophole to say the appeal is inadmissable. It is absolutely beyond reason to suggest a penalty can be issued 2 hours after a race and cannot be appealed. The reason drive throughs can’t be appealed is because they have to be served within three laps and after that you can’t turn back time.

    You would think that the fact that Charlie Whiting was shown to be a liar when he tried to prove there was no precedent and that in the end his actions shows there was a precedent would be enough to make the appeal admissable. But I guess Tonio Liuzzi wasn’t racing a Ferrari therefore it doesn’t count as precedent.

    How can these people have the nerve to go out in public when they have been proven to be cheats and liars?

  11. Well, I never saw that one coming!!!
    Why did they take so long to come to the conclusion that it was inadmissible?
    Makes you wonder what goes on in the minds of some people

  12. Wrong decision!

    He won fair, and gave the (slight) advantage gained back, overtook and won!

    I still think if it had been a ferrari that hamilton was driving the penalty would not have been applied.

  13. No surprise there, but it looks like Whiting’s reputation will take a bit of a beating. The FIA has been caught in a blatant and childish l lie, and still rule against McLaren. Typical. If Lewis loses the championship this year, Massa should have an asterisk next to his name in the record books.

  14. Well in twenty years i won’t remember the 2008 Spa grand prix for its thrilling last laps, but for its redicule, pathetic decision to disqualify a talented drive and an appeal which was dismissed because they said it was inadmissable.

    Anyone else, what will you remember this race for?

  15. not surprised. its easy to win the championship if the judges are on your side, isn’t it ferrari?

  16. Very suprised

    I thought McLaren were very brave to appeal!!!

    From past FIAT (uuups) FIA rulings it was more likely that the decission be upheld and McLaren and Lewis would be given a four race ban.

    Surely this would have been a more typical??? Perhaps the FIA are trying to clean up their act!!!

  17. oh dear, as expected really.

    The one issue that im not sure about is that IF the stewards said at the time it was a legitimate pass to Martin Whitmarsh then surely they wouldnt have given him a drive thru penalty? And if thats the case the retrospective punsihment cannot be a drive thru, only a fine???

    Or is it not the same people who decide? In which case Whitmarsh was asking the wrong people for verification. That does sound unlikely.

    I dont think its a fit up but im equally sure that some people at the FIA dont like Maclaren, and especially dont like ROn Dennis. something to do with class probably.

  18. Although I am, and always was, in favour of Hamilton’s punishment: – this is the worst possible verdict for the appeal’s panel to deliver.

    A firm “he didn’t give the place back properly, and was right to be punished” or “the stewards got it wrong” would have ended the matter once and for all. As it is we’re left with no ruling on the legality of the move, and a simple “we’re always right.” to console ourselves.

    Now, we’re likely to have this debate raging for the rest of the season, and if Hamilton loses we won’t hear the end of it for long after.

  19. Well that was predictable wasn’t it. The FIA doesn’t care if appears biased any more, what an utter disgrace. Please, please, please someone start a break away formula soon so we can be rid of this corrupt old boys club once and for all.

  20. Yes, I have to admit, Old Charlie now doesn’t deserve any goodwill from the fans or the teams, and every FIA judgement should be questioned from now on, as with any Steward’s decisions – appeal away gentlemen! Lets tie them up in court time and waste their money!
    I agree, the question now is, is the FIA anti-Hamilton, and why? Or is it anti-Ron, and why? Or is it generally anti-McLaren, and why?
    Ron/Bernie/Max/Charlie go way back to Brabham and even before, so is this over some feud from back then that still has be settled? I hope not! It seems farcical if this is Ferrari still getting their own back over ‘Stepney-gate’! Who, if my judgement is correct, will be working for Honda next year anyway….

  21. Not surprising, but still crushingly disappointing (and I’m not mad keen on Hamilton) but sportsmanship and racing is the loser today.

    What fresh controversy will they artificially manufacture next year to hand the championship to Ferrari?

  22. Did anyone expect fairness from Ferrari International Assisstance.

  23. Martin Whitmarsh: “We are naturally disappointed with today’s verdict, and to have received no ruling on the substance of our appeal

  24. can anyone explain to me, im obviously not quick enough , why Ferrari had lawyers representing them at Hamiltons appeal? Surely it was a straight fia vs mclaren? ?

    On the bright side, for those of us who dont think Lewis is the anti christ because hes not humble enough, if he does win the championship he cant be accused of winning it in the courts. Massa on the other hand…..

  25. I’m with Kris @20 The result was correct but the basis was not.

    Just so I don’t get smashed up by you guys I have finally found a link to a report that does a much better job of clarifying my opinion than I have tried to do in the past, as follows:


    So on to what should be a great weekend of F1 in Singapore. Come on guys get over it, no doubt Lewis will be better for this experience and lets hope moves are made by the officials to avoid this debacle happening again. My advice is, employ full time stewards or even better a rotating set of three from each team. Get rid of the option to appeal and provide the teams with a clear set of rules. Sounds too easy I guess!

  26. Not surprising, but still disappointing all the same.

    I’ve not subscribed to FIA/Ferrari conspiracy theories before, but the FIA have publicly bent every rule in the book on this case. And I’m no mad fan for Hamilton, but I’d like to see what the Italian or Spanish reaction is. Because the loser today was not Hamilton or McLaren, the loser today was racing and everyone who supports that.

  27. Christian Briddon
    23rd September 2008, 16:15

    Why did they not just say immediately that this could not be appealed instead of costing everyone concerned thousands of pounds?

    This is pathetic. The only think that can save the sport I love so much is for the FIA to be replaced, or at least all those running it be replaced by people who are less corrupt and know what they are talking about. We also need professional stewards and not part time muppets!

    The number of people I know that now refuse to watch F1 ever again is crazy. Can they not see what damage they are doing to the sport?

    I spent £500 on tickets to this years British GP and I have spent the same on next year’s race. I am seriously thinking of ringing the Silverstone box office and asking for my money back. What is the use of spending so much money when the championship is fixed by the FIA?

  28. Hmm, once again the FIA make a bad decision concerning F1. Does anybody else feel that this is playing into Bernies hands a little too easily?
    And why are McLaren being made the scapegoat for some political juggelry by Bernie and Max (and Jean and Old Charlie?).
    Watch this space very, very carefully!

  29. JUSTICE FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!for all that crap HAM told to FERRARI lawyer “Answering one of Tozzi’s questions, Hamilton had said: “Are you a racing driver? No. I have been a racing driver since I was eight years old and I know pretty much every single manoeuvre in the book, and that’s why I’m the best at my job:

  30. Good for the sport

  31. what a crock….

  32. I have followed F1 for 35-odd years, as part of the generation that grew up watching Fittipaldi, Lauda and Hunt in the 70s and spent decades absorbed with Senna vs. Prost, Mika vs. Michael and so on, “warts and all” as far as FIA/ FISA decisions are concerned going all the way back to some very dodgy events in 1976.

    A few years ago, even as late as the Alonso/ Monza and mass damper debacles in 2006, a “verdict” like this would have been accompanied by email and phone chatter with my friends and family, the outcome eagerly awaited, the ins and outs discussed with keen interest. Our collective verdict these last 10 or 15 years – that the FIA is as bent as it can be – would almost always be the same, as was the mounting frustration, but the interest was there, as was the faint hope that the thing would somehow right itself.

    Now? Exactly nothing. Nobody I know has had anything to say about F1 any more, nor I to them. Spa came and went, all without a single comment or opinion or line in an email – not a single line. For what is there to say? Just the annual pound of flesh extracted by whatever means necessary, and utter contempt for ideas like racing, fairness, sport, transparency and any respect whatsoever for our intellect.

    For me, this deafening silence says as much as any expressions of outrage and disgust on these boards about the events (of which I have also bothered to post almost nothing). Perhaps it is true that for every old fan who just gives up and stops watching (I can name at least a dozen of my acquaintance, sadly), ten new innocents come on board (after all, China alone has a billion would-be new fans capable of switching on the TV and buying the products) but a clearer betrayal of the trust of an audience, and nuclear winter of disinterest, I have yet to see.

    It’s always pointless to declare “that’s it, I will never watch F1 again!!” (accompanied by gleeful calls of “good riddance” from fans of the beneficiary team), all too melodramatic really, and I may, if the lawn doesn’t need mowing or a drain unblocking, put on the TV or otherwise follow up on the outcome, just to see if the delicious spectacle of seeing the cabal beaten anyway (as was indeed the case in 2006) might make it all seem OK again for a short while. But I have long boycotted products sold through F1 (to name one example I have gone out of my way to avoid buying Bridgestone tyres for a decade and will never do so again), for this reason alone, and I have long given up arguing with Nascar fans about racing purity (how can I, in all honesty?). For a type of fan like me, we are essentially done regardless of whether we make melodramatic declarations or not, as we leave.

    In the final analysis, it’s all nothing but sad, really. Just a terrible shame and rather a waste. Someone made an analogy about racing fans and battered and abused wives and I think it’s quite apt, we just quietly give up inside and look for ways to move on.

  33. So the FIA says that a drive through penalty is not reviewable even when its not a drive through penalty. As many have pointed out here, the reason a drive through is not appealable is because there is no possible remedy after the race is done. A time penalty imposed after the race is the ideal example of a remediable error.

    In any event the rules only state that a drive through is not “susceptible” to appeal. This ruling goes against the letter of the rules, it goes against precedent both on the merits and on procedure, and it defies all logic.

  34. Dont worry guys ..HAM will win this CHAMP as it is goin to rain in all the races..MASSA will be out in atleast two…CHEER UP

  35. Madurai – I’m not a ‘HAM’ fan but surely he did have a point to demonstrate to the the Ferrari lawyer that there is a difference between a desk-job and being a racing driver?

  36. saravanan, what sport? The FIA has seen to it that F1 can no longer be characterized as one.

  37. Sorry, I posted the same thing twice because of the slowness of the site.

  38. Alex..It cannot be argued that way.It is also not practical..when ever an attorney questions a convict it is not that he has to know about job the convict does..He just follows the rule book…If u break it u r in soup….It also shows how aggressive HAM is …The fame has gone to his head…

  39. Madurai, I fear your hatred of Lewis is blinding you to rationality.

  40. I for one thought the penalty handed out to Hamilton in Spa was ok, but this “judgement” of the FIA is purely ridiculous and a shame. Rejecting the appeal on formal grounds AFTER the hearings and debates, this is a farce. I don’t belive in the FIA’s Ferrari-bias – although Tozzi’s role is really quite obscure in this case, to say the least – but now I’m absolutely convinced about the organization’s and its officials’ utter incompetence.

  41. SEAN

    very sad, and although it probably does say more about you than the sport (this sort of thing has always gone on, come on!) i do agree with you, in part. However this chat board is not deathly silent and Lewis (love or loathe him) has generated more interest since the hayday of Prost, Senna, Mansell.

    Ive been watching F1 since 78 (age 7) and basically you watch it with awe and only know the race, in your teens you read a bit of press and in your 20’s you might even go to the odd race, in your 30’s you get a bit anoraky about it until bang, something lets you down. For my dad it was Jim Clark dying, for me it was Coulthard expressing glee that he could nail the throttle on a corner and the electronics would make sure he didnt spin.

    This FIA ruling is as nothing compared to them, it is a bump on tambarello made huge because of the protaganist.

    To all intents and purposes F1 died the day Colin Chapman put a cigarette logo on his car and you are right we are like battered wives, going back for more, hoping it’ll now be different and like a battered wife, we have nowhere else to go.

  42. Sooperpigdog….It all that happens..eg FOOTBALL.It is decision of refree given on the spot.u cant even appeal.
    Atleast in F1 u hav that


  44. mudarai

    “convict” – hes a criminal now is he?

    and er duh! did you think Lewis got to the pinnacle of f1 by being a wall flower. some people. “its gone to his head” “he raised his voice” “the arrogance, how dare he” deary deary me. where do you live? the 1880’s?

    oh btw im not a “ham ” fan- just a bemused fan

  45. The FIA are the Judge, Jury and Executioner – What other outcome could have possibly come of this? This cannot be a fair way to run a Multi Million Pound business.

    Got to hand it to the FIA – Reading their press release on the court ruling their case was solid with the 3 different types of penalties they can give out and if their was ground for an appeal if it was a drive through. Why then, did they allow it to get this far if they knew their own laws!?!

    What has come out in the wash is some more dirt that has been thrown at the FIA especially with crazy antics with Tony Scott Andrews. Seems they are officially prepared to lie to win their battle with Mclaren.

  46. c. is it because he is black?

    no it’s because he’s not red.

  47. Maduri, where have you been? Have you not been listening to Schumacher, Alonso, or Kimi, or Massa (or even Massa’s engineer). All the drivers behave like this, they are the top of the class, they are unbeatable. The press tells them, their manager tells them, their boss tells them. Why should they not believe it? They wouldn’t be in that car if they weren’t that good.
    And other top professional sportsmen believe it too – footballers, basketball players, cricketers, snooker players, even golfers, its part of sport….
    They are where they are because they are good enough to be there, and we aren’t!

  48. This decision was obviously coming: the intriguing bit is why they let everyone present their cases and expose the murky depths of collusion between FIA and Ferrari. Deliberately and blatantly misrepresenting the opinion of a former official in the process. Really, at this point you have to question why the other teams allow this to continue (answer: money, money and more money). Nice spectacle all round.

    At least if Lewis wins the WDC, his detractors won’t be able to say it was undeserved. Well unless FIA invents something else of course.

  49. So I think the only way for Massa will become a genuine WDC is with six points ahead LH

  50. What a hell. So everybody goes around saying that they are the best in the sport and that their rivals don’t have the balls or they don’t have the skills to keep him behind…and so on? DG, I have seem LH – the super smug big mouth – saying these kind of things time and time again. Can you point out to me any article, webpage, tv interview, or any other media in which any of the other driver in the grid has been behaving like that? Please come up with specifics. LH is a good driver but he has such a big mouth that I hope he never wins any title in his F1 career (a sort of second Stirling Moss). That would fit him well.

  51. Ferrari sent lawyers to the appeal because their Janitor couldn’t go. Seriously now, who would you have had them send?

  52. what….has….it….to….do……with……ferrari?


  53. Sick of people saying that if this had been Ferrari, they’d have gotten away with it. The very notion of “getting away with it” says that you’ve done something wrong in the first place.
    Still, it’s a bad penalty. An overhaul of the steward system seems the best way to go. I’d recommend a system whereby there’s a representative from every team who decides on these things. But then, I suppose that doesn’t really make sense, does it?

  54. this is just soooo wrong. and soooo predictable.

    my only surprise is they didn’t apply a further penalty.

  55. Saravanan, at least in football, during the game, the ref’s is the one in charge…What do we have in F1?? um charlie whiting… um stewards….. it’s anybodys guess cos the wont clarify it..

  56. WannaBeAmetalHead
    23rd September 2008, 17:22

    I am not a racer , but i love racing . Hamilton got what he deserves , he gained an advantage during the race and he just lost it afterwards ….and forever ..as simple as that …

    As a fan of this sport , i believe the FIA acted in this matter is just not biased. They made the right decision . You cant compare 2006 suzuka incident with this , and it is clear that Hamilton did gain an advantage. Lewis did try to gain advantage like this and got penalties before, this year itself . I am so happy now :)

  57. Why can the teams not have a direct radio link to the stewards, seeing as they’re the ones who are making the decisions?

    Having a radio link between the teams and Charlie is just useless, seeing as clearly all he is there to do is push the ‘go’ button come 2pm, and according to the FIA has no right to give opinions on anything regarding what happens in the race.

    Seems as if the FIA needs a drastic surplus staff cull as well as a reigime change.

  58. antonyob,

    Exactly my question!
    was this not a straight FIA vs McLaren issue?
    Why were Ferrari lawyers even present?

    well, that’s it for me!
    K!$$ MY GR!T$ FIA (pardon my French!)

    man, I haven’t been this ticked off since GeeDubya got re-elected

  59. Keith: Is there a sort of pro-Lewis moderation going on?

  60. The one thing that I’m happy about is that even those who think Hamilton deserved his penalty agree that this ruling is a joke. If everyone finally agrees that the sport is at worst corrupt, and at best mismanaged, then perhaps change will become a genuine possibility.

  61. Antifia,

    If your post was removed, you would be absolutely wild about it. Your post #59 leads me to believe that one of your post was removed (or was posted late).

    If you can argue for your right (that your commends should be posted), so does HAM for getting his win. Yes. RAI did not have the balls to race nice in the rain (evident from his lap times and the crash). And he was well within his right to say what he said.

    Chill out.

  62. Is Max Mosely a Racist?

    I would like to ask him. And I wonder if this has baring on his views and how he “runs” the FIA. Before you shout me down, hear me out.

    We know Max treats women as slabs of meat to be screwed by his friends at Gang Bang parties. So much for womens liberation.

    We also know his father was Oswold Mosely, a famous Racist Fascist here in the UK. It is also known that Max used to be in politics, as a member of a known racist and fascist party.

    Is Max a racist? What are his views on Blacks entering F1?

    Is Max determined that a black man will NOT win the WDC? Is that what all this is about?


  63. Great decision!

  64. Guys as it says on the article there is a delay in comments appearing because of the high amount of activity on the site.

    Aside from that a couple of comments have been deleted for breaking the terms of the comment policy: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/credits-and-contacts/f1-fanatic-comment-policy/

    Antifia I don’t believe any of your comments have been deleted. If you think one has then contact me via the contact form: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/credits-and-contacts/contact-f1fanatic

  65. Indeed a sad day for Formula 1 and the many fans around the world, from the grizzly veterans who have been following the sport for 20+ years, down to the rookies such as myself.

    I was upset with the penalty in the first place, and for as much as I wanted it to be overturned, I diden’t expect anything different today. While fans such as myself will never stop watching the action on the track, the FIA is indeed doing a great job of mucking up the sport to the extent that we can no longer expect a championship battle that is decided entirely on the track, rather than in courtrooms in Paris, as has been the case the last two seasons.

  66. To hell with the FIA

    long live this post :)

  67. David, breaking news, the FiA will never let Lewis win. They are effectively saying to him, know your place. We could be back in 1930s deep South of America. He is too uppity by far, for the FiA, for some fans you see writing on this forum and other F1 forums.

    For all the little black boys watching Lewis’ amazing career and who are inspired; that instead of crime, if you work hard and are determined enough, you can reach the pinnacle of your profession, this sort of thing will make them think there is no point at all, because “the man” won’t allow it!

  68. This year, with the Max Mosley-sadomasichistic-Nazi-sex-orgy mock trial, and now this, the FIA has certainly proven their point: they operate on their own terms, doing what they want, when they want no matter the public outcry or any case made against them. They’ve made it very clear that they are bigger than anyone.

  69. Jason, no. 48, very funny and true.

  70. Antifia, for one, Heikki said “I’m better than him” of Lewis. I bet you didn’t know that because no-one picks and analyses comments from any other driver more than Lewis Hamilton. Can you IMAGINE if Lewis said “I’m better than Heikki”? I think the sky would fall in from the outcry.

  71. I wonder…

    If Massa had one at Monza and Hamilton failed to score points, would the decision go the other way for the sake of keeping the championship close?

    Nah, probably not, its was a Mclaren…

    PS. Sorry if someone already mentioned that, I haven’t had a change to go through all the comments, stupid work!

  72. Captain Caveman
    23rd September 2008, 17:49

    Guys I really enjoy reading these posts, but time and time again too many seem to go off at a tangent unnecessarily…. Racist references to US Deep South, Nazi connotations etc.

    The fact is that most of Lewis CURRENT peers agree with the penalty but recognise it was harsh (mainly because incident occurred in the last 5 laps) . But it is the way it goes.

    The vast majority of support for Lewis from within the sport has come from HISTORICAL drivers, who were in their hay day 2 if not 3 decades ago. Is their opinion relevant in todays racing? ……… i.e rules as they are now, familiarity with cars, understanding of what is an advantage in current racing conditions. ( I am not knocking them for what they have done, but questioning the validity of their comments)

    At the end of the day I am a sales director within a software company and have done well at it, in 20 years time will by thoughts and opinions be as relevant when I have not been in the hot seat of any sales activity…. I very much doubt it.

  73. Anoymouse, why should you be shouted down? Max Mosley’s father was a fascist who admired Hitler. FACT. Max Mosley always defended his father’s views. FACT. Max Mosley has been known to say he is against immigration into Britain. FACT. Max Mosley has been known to say he against mixed marriages between different races. FACT. Max Mosley is the president of the FiA. FACT.

    You can’t be shouted down for stating well known facts.

    Put 2 and 2 together and you get FOUR. FACT.

  74. Today is another sad day in the chapter of the FIA. I Really hope Lewis wins the championship this year,and then leaves F1. It’s not worth all this hassle.

  75. The verdict is really disappointing but not surprising. I sincerely hope that no other factors are involved as it will surely be a sad day for F1. Like others have said, lets move on and hopefully Lewis will blow them away with a stunning performance in Singapore.Ciao

  76. Hey All !
    I do have my on vision on this incident, but i wonder how loud would this shout for JUSTICE on all these comments be if the appeal was on apposite way. Massa appealing against FIA over Hamilton.
    I sincerelly would like to know your way of fairness. Would all of you shout this loud for Massa ?

    PS: I’m a Kimi fan though.(just for the record).

  77. For all of you adding “great outcome or great result” would you really be saying this if it wasn’t Lewis Hamilton. It wasn’t a good result it was a travesty!!

    The FIA did not have the cajones to make a clear judgement on the facts so hid behind a technicality that leaves this open to debate for ever.

    F1 should be carried out on the race track and this situation should have never tarnished one of the most exciting races in history.

    If Massa does win this year, and by the margin within the inherited points, there will be even more FIA favours Ferrari.

    Yes really great outcome.

    Well done FIA you really have balls of steel!!!

  78. Even though I am a Ferrari fan, i hate the way the sport is running for a past couple of seasons! A sad day for sure.

  79. Let’s just hope that the credit crunch hits F1 big time forcing the collapse of the sport.

    Then the teams can start up a new formula, totaly independant of the FIA and give us racing fans what we want – motor racing.

    I am sick of seeing teams, especially McLaren, having to go to court, I’m not interested in the politics or the people behind the scenes, I just want to watch some exciting racing.

    This is now next to impossible as Max Mosely is a liar and a fraud who is determined to destroy Ron Dennis and his McLaren team.

    It is bad enough that he’s a Nazi sympathiser (this has been proved many times so no need to moderate) but does he really have to destroy the sport we all love ?

    The only reason for a race result to be overturned is if a car fails post-race scrutineering, any and all racing incidents should be dealt with in the race, even if you have to black flag someone on the last corner of the last lap.

    Anything else is unacceptable.

  80. regardless of the decision it is time for Bernie to pull the plug and set up an alternative to F1. He doesn’t need the FIA and coudl easily get support for it, he has the money after all.

    Why oh why are these farcical events brought in to a sport when simple, clear governance would solve this.

  81. Captain Caveman, the current F1 drivers are scoundrels in my opinion (well the ones who have come out in support of the penalty are anyway). They stated confidently that they knew that Lewis should have waited, but none of them seemed to know this “next corner rule” (oh, except Nico who said he knew of it). DC said in his ITV column that the next corner rule was “a new rule”, so who is telling the truth here? They are shameless!

  82. Fergus Gallus, fans don’t need to fight Massa’s corner – he has Max Mosley and the FiA doing that.

  83. To the McDonalds Theme (Bad ba bap ba ba ..AM LOVING IT!!!)

    The comments are very good, entertaining…the title race is on!!

  84. Scott Joslin – “What has come out in the wash is some more dirt that has been thrown at the FIA especially with crazy antics with Tony Scott Andrews. Seems they are officially prepared to lie to win their battle with Mclaren.”

    Agreed – that for me is the most amazing part of it. Not that the FIA found a way of throwing the appeal out, but that they did it in such a stunningly blatant way.

    Alex-Ctba – “So I think the only way for Massa will become a genuine WDC is with six points ahead LH.” A lot of people will see it that way.

    Fergus Gallas – Yes.

  85. Keith – You’ve always been fair. That’s why i’m a fan from your site. Although we don’t agree sometimes, but it’s very enjoyable to have this chat with you.

    S Hughes – That’s not the point of my comment, but i believe you’ve understood it.

  86. Exactty Keith, so…how about a poll around “six points” ?

  87. ops…exactly

  88. I can’t believe anyone can say that what happened in Paris was right Charlie Whiting was proved to be a liar. Tony Scott-Andrews who was universally respected as a permanent steward said that not only did he not say what Whiting claimed he had but his view was exactly the opposite and besides the conversation had never taken place. Is that good for the sport? Does that not make you question the procedures?

    Charlie Whiting was proven to be a liar and is now on his way to officiate at Singapore. Does that seem correct to those who think everything is now OK? DOn’t you think he should be charged with bring the sport into disrepute? Does it not make you think that something is wrong with a court that allows someone to walk free after it has been proven that he is a liar? Try that in any normal court and you would be in real trouble.

    Do those who think the verdict is correct think there is nothing wrong with Alan Donnelly who is not a qualified steward conducting the driver interviews while the three stewards whose responsibility it is to make the decision sit in silence? Is it OK that after that procedure is carried out the three stewards sign the penalty notice and DOnnelly does not? Does that make you think something is very wrong?

    SOmeone mentioned that Massa would have to win the championship by more than six points so that his championship would not be questioned. I am sorry but his penalty at Valencia was very dodgy as well so you should add on the points a drive through would have cost him. It tells you everything that he has benefitted from these two major decisions and is still behind Hamilton in the championship.

  89. It’s just so damn discouraging. The FIA has made it very clear that they don’t care what anyone thinks, they’re going to do whatever the want…and to hell with everyone else. McLaren deserved an up or down ruling based upon the specifics of the matter. I’m still an F1 fan, I think it’s part of my DNA…but Max & the FIA are making it harder and harder to be a true dyed-in-the-wool fan anymore. Sad, but true.

  90. @Cavey, 74

    In the current climate, do you really think any driver would speak up if they didn’t believe it was right?

    It’s politically expedient for them to side with the FIA, and inadvisable for them to do otherwise.

  91. Definitely sad decision by the FIA, kind of stupid in fact. All it is going to do is keep the Drivers from racing and fans flummoxed.

    I am in the camp that believes that Ham did gain a tiny advantage by cutting the corner, but I do not think it deserved a penalty, and even if it was given, 25 seconds was waaaaayyyyyyy too much.

    Realistically – there was almost no way the FIA would consider the appeal was there? They wouldn’t shoot their own feet, they had red shoes!!! ;)

  92. @Steven Roy

    I could not agree more.

    I have always had a lot of respect for Charlie as he’s always seemed open, honest and unbiased (for the most part), his actions and words yesterday has changed my opinion of him greatly.

    @Mr Soap

    It’s getting a bit Stalinist lately, the drivers must be very afraid at the moment, wouldn’t be surprised if DC got chastised for his admission on his ITV F1 column that the new rule IS a new rule, not a clarification of the existing rule.

    How long before the FIA Stassi are patrolling the padock ?

  93. What astonished me was that the FIA had to resort to misinterpreting one of their own rules in order to deem the appeal inadmissible. Article 152 of the International Sporting Code clearly forbids three kinds of penalties from being appealed. None of them cover time penalties from any reading that makes sense to a fluent English speaker taking the text literally. Precedent (Japan 2007) supports this. Yet the FIA claimed that time penalties were covered and that the precedent did not contradict this because nobody specifically asked about the admissibility of the appeal.

    So in trying to avoid shooting themselves in the feet, they’ve shot themselves in the foot.

  94. I agree Beneboy. Until the start of last year I would have defended Charlie Whiting against anyone. From my point of view the guy was untouchable.

    Then we had the Ferrari floor saga which lead to the whole Stepneygate nonsense. Stepney who was responsible for ensuring the legality of the Ferrari was none too impressed that Ferrai intended to run an illegal floor and wrote to Charlie. Charlie did nothing so Stepney wrote to McLaren and they wrote to Charlie and Charlie did nothing. Despite all the advanced warning the car passed scrutineering and won. Then the rule was clarified to make the floor illegal but Kimi kept his ten points and won the championship by one point.

    Now this. How can anyone trust him again?

  95. Well all that needs to be said, by the sensible individuals here who can detach themselves from any emotion or allegiances, has been said. Unfortunately, some allow their dislike for an individual to distort their reasoning.

    This was not about if we like Hamilton or not, neither was it about being on the side of Mclaren. It was simply about fundamental Principles and Ethics. The FIA was clearly shown to have LIED in court. This was about the FIA and not a team or a driver.

    On a different not:-/
    Why did race control ask Fernando to give back the position in Japan?

  96. It’s sad to see a reputation built up over many, many years destroyed in two.

    Would be interested to know what kind of pressure he’s been put under over this and Ferrari’s illigal floor.

    Although from memory I’d have to say that the regulations generaly conform to Ferrari’s design rather than the other way round and I say this as a Ferrari fan.

  97. well well no suprise there then. i hope there is not a FIA bias but there is as they say no smoke without fire! and what a bonfire the FIA are involved in. By the way why (can anyone tell me) is Kimi world champion? he won in aus the first race of 07 but the car broke the rules the floor was movable therfore they had to redesign the car. why did he keep the points? Maclaren exist to win and they are a british team. they in my humble opinion are trying to win for all the right reasons the red team sorry i cannot bring myself to give them a name did not win for such a long time then bang win win win win win? the only consistant thing is there wins and how and why???? i dont profess to know everything that goes on but the way most all these things are delt with makes people doubt the validity of the FIA yes they have done some wonderfull things for motorsport but as with everything in life your only rememberd for your cockups and boy have the FIA

  98. the sport just died +

  99. For me, it’s not that Massa will now have to win the WDC by more than these 6, basically stolen, points – what shall we call this “necessary adjustment factor”? the “F-factor” perhaps? – in order that I can regard him as a worthy champion at year’s end. It’s not even these 6 points PLUS the value of the penalty FM should have received in Valencia, PLUS some allowance for the harshness of the LH penalties in France and Malaysia.

    It’s much more serious than this because it’s clearly systemic, recurring annually, and what we see is evidently only the tip of an iceberg. “Verdicts” like today’s are, after all, just glimpses we get of the man in charge, at work behind his grey curtain, it seems to me. Even if what we see on days like today is all there is – a floating iceberg ‘tip’ with nothing underneath, just some made-up FIA emails flying around about precedent, and an incomprehensible decision or ten – what of the effect on the teams, who make thousands of decisions, from design to manufacture to race operation, many of them about how closely to run to those notoriously slippy, ever-malleable “rules”?

    To take one slightly crass example, but one that’s at least easy to consider, if you’re the guy deciding how many tenths of a kph margin to allow for error in the pitlane speed limiters on the McLarens, would you now allow the EXACT same margin as you would if you instead did the same job for Ferrari, knowing, as you clearly ought to by now, the very likely outcome in the event that you ever ‘touch’ the limit? (*) Perhaps you would. Personally, there is NO WAY I would make the same choices, even on a conscious level, and much as I love trips to Paris. Staff McLaren with a thousand of me and Ferrari with a thousand of me and then let each one make a thousand decisions, and it’s all gonna add up at a heckuva rate, is all I know. The same applies to morale, an invisible but notorious factor in all companies, one that requires energy and effort and resource to manage, all of which could be better spent. I wonder how many McLaren staff are currently wondering how much nicer life might be somewhere else, even Italy! If I put in that extra late night, work more weekends, really get to the bottom of that ever-so-subtle question about aerodynamics, oil scavenging or even just how to reduce the transportation costs, it will all pay off, yes? No???????

    That I cannot even begin to quantify the slope angle of this playing field, and have not these several years – is it 5 degrees? 60 degrees? a wall? – is at the core of my decade-long disenchantment with these rule-manipulators, even liars as we now know. What is the “F-factor”, when all is said and done? Will someone at least raise a website where we can all vote on its value? I’ve long considered it might be, ooh, 10 or 20 points a year (or all your points, on a bad year), but my latest guess might be somewhat higher. But what do I know? I don’t, of course, and yet it is a foundational building block of my interest and PAYING INVOLVEMENT in any sport that I must, at some level, believe in parity or at least in quantifiable disparity. I wonder if Formula 1 can survive a financial crisis when the only people paying to attend races or buy merchandise are Ferrari supporters and the clueless? I’ve been to a LOT of Grands Prix over the years, on four continents, but I ain’t going near one for the foreseeable future, even with a six year old showing an interest in F1 cars (I just wouldn’t wish it on him…)

    Farce, farce, farce. Sad, sad, sad. Shame, shame, shame.

    (*) Just as an aside, no-one will believe me (until I send them the pics) but I was once responsible for the supplementary pitlane speed monitoring for the 1997 Belgian GP at Spa, with my (now) wife. We used the LAVAG (laser sighting) speed measuring equipment which supplements the under-the-pitlane systems, and my wife reported, to the delegate of Charlie Whiting (who seemed like a nice man, at the time) a speed violation of 3kph for one M. Schumacher. It was the only violation we recorded in F1 all weekend – all the other teams were consistently and comfortably under the limit but the Ferraris were right on it. She even had the video evidence. It will come as no surprise to anyone to know that no action was taken on her report. I have since wondered if our function was primarily one of deterrent, given the amateurish nature of the whole thing (there were no questions about the calibration of our equipment, which were supplied by an optics company I worked with, and certainly not of our impartiality). It was also evident that Michael was the last to brake at the white line, sometimes leaving tyre marks on the wrong side of it as he slowed, but the system being manually triggered (press a button to record the speed) it was really impossible to ID a clear violation in the couple of meters inside the line. It was just a fascinating insight into all those small things that add up to a competitive advantage, one which became more and more pertinent as the Schumacher years wore on.

  100. Sean,

    WOW… This is VERY interesting…

  101. Steve – F1 was never a sport.
    It’s auto racing and is a field to show the auto qualities from the brands to the public and sell cars to this public in a package of braveness from heroic drivers.
    Mercedes isn’t in F1 to win races. It is in this so called “sport” to sell cars. And so is Ferrari, Renault, BMW, Toyota, Honda. It’s a business and ever was.
    No company would put tons of millions of dollars only to win races, this CEO would be locked in chains by the owners of the company.
    It’s a business that we like to think it’s a sport, otherwise we would look stupid to watch the 18(races) most expensives auto Ads for at least 1h20min on sundays.
    So we lean on the drivers as a scape from this nightmare and believe they are truly sportsmen. In fact they are only the most expensive drivers/employees that an auto brand could have, nothing more than this.
    And i’m watching these auto ads since 1978, trying to convince myself that this is a sport and i’m having a wonderful time on sundays.

  102. @Sean – if it is a true why you don’t bring the evidence in light ? We know that Max Mosley read blogs so may be he will be interested and we receive just another clarification of rules :)

  103. @Fergus

    That’s a bit cynical mate.

    Motor sport started as a way for rich boys to play with some fast toys, the corporations only got into the act in the 60’s.

    Many manufacturers started life as race teams who would race a car on Sunday and then sell it on Monday to pay for building a car for the next race.

    Honda are well known, even today, to spend as much as it costs to win rather than having a set budget (see Keith’s previous article on team spending) and while they are hoping to sell cars & bikes the company has a real racing passion.

    We all know the sport is used as a way to sell cars but it’s still a sport.

  104. Predictable!!! I watch the F1 pantomime occasionally and it does tickle me where people flex their muscles because they think they are important. The FIA seem to be a bunch of people that have never raced and when the problem arises they react like a rabbit in the headlights. I personally have no affiliation with Mclaren or Ferrari but someone in charge needs to bang some heads together, get the politics out of the sport and keep the lawyers in their box !!! I prefer the 2 wheel sports and have been watching a great season in MotoGP where the racing does the talking and not the nobodies that are what to be’s….

  105. michael counsell
    23rd September 2008, 22:40

    The decision should be final I guess and it sets a clear marker for future driving standards.

  106. Thats the problem there is no clear marker as the judges bottled it and the FIA have not clarified anything….

    Back to the F1 precession as nobody can overtake in fear of the ending up in court.

    Stick to MotoGP, WSB and BSB as it is more about the racing than the nobodies that try and run the sport.

  107. Tiny122, you’re right mate, the motorbikes have given us some great racing again this year, and it’s nice not to be overwhelmed with politics.

    But F1 is a bit like heroine for me, I’ve been into it so long and love it so much that even when it does something like this to me I still forgive it and watch the next race.

    I think there’s something in Psalms that goes something like:

    “As a dog returns to it’s vomit, so too does the fool return to his folly.”

    Kind of sums me up.

  108. I didn’t read all posts, but I’ve seen that, since the past discussions, we’re missing part of the point: the rule that adds 25 seconds to the driver’s race time as an equivalent to the drive-through penalty is unfair, because, if in the race, the racer wouldn’t lose all these seconds by running thorugh the pit lane, because 25 seconds uses to be the total time lost during a pit stop.

    And what makes it even clearer is the fact that both drive-through and ten seconds stop penalties are ‘converted’ in a 25 seconds penalty after the end of the race. (Article 16.3)

    So, two different penalties (and the ten seconds stop is more severe) can’t be equivalent to the same amount of time.

    To be fair, the drive-through penalty would have to be converted in “twenty five minus ten seconds”, that is the exact difference from a drive-through to a ten seconds stop penalty, so the time added should be fifteen instead of twenty five seconds.

    I can hear you say: but that’s a case of changing the rules. In law, depending on the country, a court can perfectly adapt a clearly unproportional act…

    And I’m pretty sure the FIA would never do that… If, at least, they change the sporting regulations, It’ll be an advance.

    Disclaimer: I’m brazilian, a Felipe Massa fan, who thinks the stewards were right, but the punishment was too harsh.

  109. Not being a huge Mc or a Lewis fan in the past i now would love to see both the constructors and drivers championships go their way…

  110. Sean, msg 102, all I can say is “Good God”! My jaw is officially on the floor and I didn’t think it still had that capacity after all the shenanigans of the past few weeks.

    Notice the way the BBC reported the failed appeal? Didn’t go into the full story except to say Lewis cut the chicane and then showed the footage of just that. Didn’t mention he handed back the position. Didn’t mention the fudge with the rules. Said it happened 2 weeks ago (????). Didn’t mention the lie in court over the Tony Scott-Andrews email. If that is how badly and inaccurately the BBC report this issue, God knows what rubbish is being reported about other issues of the day. New motto: don’t believe anything you see on the national TV news.

    How can Lewis go on, is a question people ask me? I said he can’t walk away from a sport that he’s been preparing for for the past 15 years. He will have to win again and again, and be penalised again and again and again and again, and eventually the stink will be so powerful, even the BBC will report it accurately and maybe Max BLEEP Mosley will remove his putrid presence from this sport.

    I have to thank Keith for this blog. Comparison with Ed Gorman’s – Ed went to a huge amount of trouble to ferret out details about Max’s private life (all well and good) but has fallen in line with the FIA over this and doesn’t appear to be in investigative mood at all. He’s completely rolled over and accepted the FIA line despite all the evidence. And he won’t allow posts about possible racism as if discussing racism is taboo. Keith doesn’t think racism is the key in this, but at least he allows the debate.

  111. @ Beneboy (106)

    It may look cynical, i do agree.
    Even so, F1 is the “sport” that i’m really passionate about. Weird isn’t?

    You’re right about the start of motor racing, back in the 20’s of last century.
    But when F1 started in the 50’s though, Ferrari was there as well as Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes Benz along with the custom teams. Auto brands were already there not for fun alone, but to prove that they were better than the others. Mercedes gave up F1 after the infamous Les Mans disaster in 1955. They dropped F1 in the wake of bad publicity. A Mercedes Benz car killed 80 spectators and a driver. It doesn’t look good at the News Headlines, does it? hidden message of the headline-Mercedes cars are unsafe.
    Not good for a corporation you must agree.
    Why so many races on Asia recently? Luxury cars market is growing with insane rates over there.
    It’s a business, always have been, i have no problem with that and i’m addicted to F1.

  112. William Wilgus
    24th September 2008, 1:56

    Confessing that I haven’t read all of all of the comments in this thread, I’m still astonished that about the only thought I haven’t seen is that Keith had Hamilton and Kimi stage the incident being discussed in order to get more comments posted on his blog. . . . So, Keith, did you? ;^)~

  113. after many years,
    goodbye F1…

  114. Every one of us knew what verdict was going to be. Still most of you seem disappointed. Thats disappointing :P

  115. I love Lewis’ testimony at the hearing, the guy couldn’t find “modesty” in the dictionary is he tried.

    “I have been a racing driver since I was eight years old and I know pretty much every single manoeuvre in the book, and that’s why I’m the best at my job. We are talking about a skilled driver under intense pressure making a split-second decision which no-one, not unless they are in Formula One, can comprehend.” …. “Whatever happens I am not worried either way, I just hope the judges see the truth. I am a racing driver, driven by excellence. It’s what I do.”

  116. DG..It is not that we have to behave like this when we are super talented.We have to follow some manners when we are before the media as million people will be watching us..AS said can u please mention any quotes of any driver in F1 telling something as HAM saying “u dont balls,I am the only driver great in wet,u r not winning so keep ur mouth shut”..May be he should keep his mouth shut atleast until he wins a WDC or creates any record…

  117. What a shock. Corruption wins again.

    We should have the FIA running the country as well – they are the only organisation corrupt enough to match the government.

  118. boo FIA”T”, as expected the results because there was a FIArrari there to benefit. these last remaining races will be interesting bcos massa is so close and FIA”T will work overtime to make sure FIArrari win again this year..********!

  119. teamorders

    whats your point?

  120. Just love the way FIA to cut down costs:

    The court bill accrued by the lawyers from Ferrari and the FIA will cost McLaren at least $500,000, but as much as double that amount, according to reports.

  121. why are you making such a fuss about this.

    really i don’t understand. Lewis cut a chicane, fumbled the let go, and got penalised.

    i dont see the ferrari’ism in it. when Ferrari was getting its ass kicked by Renault a couple years back we didn’t see Alonso be penalized for reasons of no ones understanding.

    now i concede that there might be an Anti McLaren/ Dennis sentiment going on with the FIA and the F1 community, but i wouldn’t imagine the FIA risking that much for a petty personal difference.

    Anyway, my mesage to Sean is to cool down, it’s not worth it. just enjoy every race as it comes. regardless. Lewis gave his fans and their foes an excellent time. i think these penalties couldn’t have fallen on a better recipient. he’s dealing with them in a very theatrical way. putting some panash back in the sport that has been the scene of stuck ups and turtle necked geeks.

    i think these little kinks are part of the show. without them what would we talk about this week? tyre pressure? or barrometric pressure in Singapore?

    but i must admit, reading the articles on this site made me realise the Singapore was such a cool place. i should put it on my to go to list.

  122. i echo RONS comments completely apart from the first. Making a fuss is fun, arguing the nuances of the sport is part of the very fabric of it. Lewis and Alonso are far better for the sport than the tedious to watch tedious to listen to Kimi who, either wins cos hes faster when others are off track, or hes ****.

    People have always cheated in F1, from the dawn of the motorised wheel engineers have sought ways to get a competitive advantage. The problem Mclaren have got is not that they cheat but that they havent, at this moment, got friends in high places. And that is just as important as budget/drivers/R&D.

  123. The outcome of all this annoying saga could end damaging Hamilton’s chances to WDC. This is no sooo terrible. Last year McLaren and Lewis managed to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory” to quote Lincoln. And so what? He started this year with an even greater motivation, and this has been very good, at least for spectacle itself.

    The really worrying “collateral damage” or should I say “civilian casualty” of all this disgusting farce is that fair and brave car racing itself has been thrown into jeopardy for the foreseeable future.
    Perhaps Hamilton ends taking the championship anyway. However, it will be a very dirty trophy indeed, full to the very edge with mud that FIA has put into it…

    A few days ago, a post in the Felipe Massa debate made me sick with anger, it said something like “in the end, the fastest and most consistent driver ALWAYS ends taking the championship…” Not on my watch, of the many champions I’ve seen on TV I could say that, in my opinion, Andretti was not faster and more consistent than Peterson, nor was Scheckter than Gilles V., nor perhaps was Alan Jones than my fellow Argentinean Reutemann. But at least these championships end results were consequence of legal contracts that were accepted by the parts involved, not from the intervention of some “straightening force” from outside.

    I will not make the customary promises to not watch F1 anymore, it will not be realistic. But the FIA has stained the racing sport, and will be an unending suspect from now on, even when they got their decisions right. And it will be a perennial, unnecessary damage they have inflicted upon themselves.

    I can only add that it deeply saddens me the fact that, being F1 so heavily burdened on economic matters, the option that McLaren boycotts does not exist. It would surely make Mosley and Ecclestone rethink a couple of issues. Like not being brave or unbiased enough to at least give a ruling on the SUBSTANCE of an appeal.

    Sorry if my English is even worser than as usual, I’m really angry to say the least…

  124. After all, it is a UK blog. It is normal here that most of the comments do not want to agree with FIA. I think that, by now rules have been clarified and drivers what not to do. I get the feeling that some drivers already knew it before. Or at lease it was obvious at once for them after the incident.

    Yes, I am not Hamilton fan. I never was Schumi, Massa or Kimi fan either. Somewhy, since Hamilton came I have supported anybody but Hamilton. There is something in his attitude that I just don’t like. Who knows, maybe last years Mclaren thing has something to do with my viewpoint.

    PS. they say that you don’t have to pray for rain in Singapore. It rains every night anyway :)

    Sry for OT :)


  125. Can someone please explain to me how Hamilton cutting the chicane at Spa gave him an advantage over Massa and Heidfield? They, MAS, HEI had no right to gain from Hamilton ‘cutting’ the chicane. The fact that he probably lost time to both of them is another matter.

    The FIA has now set a precedent that I will be watching closely until the end of the season, the precedent they have set is that should any driver cut a chicane they should receive either a drive through penalty or a 25 second penalty. Which begs the question why didn’t Massa receive a penalty for cutting the chicane at Monza? Yes he gave the position back to whomever he was fighting but as we now know, he should have either had a drive through or had his end race time adjusted by 25secs.

    This is my issue with this penalty!!!

  126. Quote:

    “i dont see the ferrari’ism in it. when Ferrari was getting its ass kicked by Renault a couple years back we didn’t see Alonso be penalized for reasons of no ones understanding.”

    Yes we did! he got a penalty for not at all holding up Massa in qualifying and then we had tires that had been legal for years suddenly becoming illegal.

  127. This dad thing is a red herring, there are numerous drivers on the grid who have their parents at races, including their Dad standing in the teams pit garage every single race. Most of them don’t get filmed as often as Lewis’s father though.

  128. Fair Enough D-Rat. Actually now that I think of it, I remember seeing Massa’s dad there once. I get the feeling it was at Turkey, Massa’s stomping ground?

    Anyway it was really only a light hearted jibe.

  129. There is absolutely no need for this argument to degenerate into racist remarks. They have been deleted and will continue to be deleted, so don’t make them.

  130. Diseased rat- yes it is a red herring but it is also a red herring (thats 2 red herrings!) that people have a problem with his dad. Theyve not got a problem with Lewis’ dad , not his colour, not his “cheek” or his arrogance.

    They just have a problem with themselves. They probably feel the same way about the guy down the pub who talks to the women or the guy at work who gets promoted when they dont. Its a human condition that we are not all thankfully afflicted with but it is not uncommon. These guys would whinge about Lewis whatever he did.

  131. Thanks Keith.

  132. It’s true, you learn something new everyday and it’s even better when it’s personal. Today I have learnt that some people really do read into comments on forums far too much. I can see my comment about Lewis’s Dad has provoked some “deep” comments! Thanks antonyob, you have enlightened me and exposed me for who I really am. I just wish my dad was here to witness my transformation! Could you keep your eye out for future posts by me? Maybe you could get behind the hidden meaning of them to uncover my other flaws. Once again, thanks Guru antonyob.

    Oh another thing that bothers me about Lewis Hamilton is the colour of the suit he wore at the trial. It should have been white or better yet purple!

  133. Massa’s dad is always there, Vettel’s dad was there when he won. Have you ever thought that maybe you notice Anthony Hamilton more because he is black and stands out because there are not many black people in F1? Yes, being black can have its disadvantages, ie being picked at and analysed and criticised more than any other driver on the grid.

  134. Come on Hughesy. We’ve been there and it’s over!

  135. anytime aussieleb.

    just for the record your comment was just the latest of dozens of anti hamilton stanced posts. You dOnt really have to think that deep to know that people get jealous. well i dont anyway, i cant speak for you.

  136. AussieLeb, it ain’t EVER over!

  137. hughes- aussieleb is right. but more to the point where can your argument possibly go? only to more assumptive speculation. so yep its over. move on. its not like theres nothing else to argue over.

  138. OK it’s time to come clean. It’s 2:15am on Thursday morning and you guys are killing me here. I don’t even know whether I know what I am talking about!

  139. Cool down everyone.
    Keith has created this space for us to express our feelings about the “sport” that we all support and like. We’re here to chat, be passionate, disagree now and then, and most of all respect everyone’s opinions.
    But, prejudice and racism, in all their forms should be banished from the face of this planet we call earth, that in fact is the home of us all.
    It doesn’t matter the color of your skin, if it is purple, green, blue, white, black. Everyone’s blood has the same color.

    Mr. Hamilton’s face is a presence on the TV during the races because he is the father of a very gifted driver, title contender, and is always there to support his son. You all notice him more because he has, for good and bad, become a celebrity on his own. But others drivers parents, brothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends are constantly presents at the GPs, to support them. The fact is that most people don’t know their faces, it’s simple as that. Massa’s father was in every race of 2008. But who cares about him.

    Keith, how’s the weather in singapore for a change?

  140. Emerson Fittipaldi, who BTW is brazilian and Massa´s mate, said that Lewis´s penalization was INJUSTICE

  141. @ Fergus

    I agree mate, we all (at least most of us) want to see racism banished from the planet, and if it exists in F1 then from our beloved sport (no “” for me :~>) too.

    One of the best things about F1 is that once in the car it’s almost impossible to tell what the driver looks like, he could be green with pink spots and the casual observer wouldn’t know.
    This did give me a bit of a surprise a few years ago, while watching my mate get battered in a Kart race I was very (pleasently) surprised to see a young black lad emerge from the winning helmet at the end of the race.

    I was even more surprised to see that same boy driving a McLaren F1 car last year but only because of his age, his talent is obvious to see.

    International motorsport has been dominated by white men for a very long time, I think a lack of opportunity rather than racism to be the cause of this.

    How many black kids do you see karting ?
    Not many, would have to be my answer and if you don’t go karting there’s little chance of getting into F1.

    While I’m not Lewis’s biggest fan I hope that his achievement in the sport encourages more kids, especially black kids, to take up motor sport.
    Also that teams will be more open to the idea of giving black drivers an opportunity to develop into an F1 driver as McLaren have done with Lewis.

    Not because they are black but because they have the talent.

    A very big thank you to Keith, for both giving us a place to share our (sometimes dodgy) opinions of F1 with other people who share our passion, and for removing the racist remarks above.

  142. Mark Webber now says:

    “I think most guys would’ve thought it was a little bit cheeky to attack again in that way,”

    “I would’ve done it differently, personally.

    “Lewis was in such a fantastic position in that race, in terms of his pace, that he probably could’ve picked Kimi off somewhere else.

    “Easier said than done, of course – you never know, Kimi could’ve got his eye in and started to pull away again.

    “It’s very easy to look at it now and say what you could’ve done and should’ve done, but obviously it wasn’t the right decision for Lewis on the day.”

    I’m not calling anyone a liar here but I reckon Mark would have nailed Kimi had he been in the same position. I would have.

  143. @Beneboy – Thanks for letting us know how you feel about Kimi. After a couple of Gin and Tonics I might even consider nailing Sebastian Vettel, for what its worth! In racing terms however, the move Lewis tried to pull on Kimi could hardly be called nailing the pass. After all wasn’t their a subsequent 25 second post race time penalty?!?!

  144. As someone so aptly said, previously, it’s NEVER over! I realised that there is a huge issue that no one has addressed in relation to the Ferrari and FIA bashing that’s been going on since “Ham got smoked”!!! (I’ll be sure to pace myself guys) When it hasn’t been about the FIA being corrupt it’s been about Ferrari being favoured. Could anyone please explain why, if in the past 28 years of F1, Ferrari have only won 6 WDC’s. Those figures don’t seem to equate to favouritism. Who has won the most titles in that time? Wait for it…….McLaren with a staggering 9. That almost a third! Then to really stick it up all you conspiracy theorists Max Mosley has been the President of the FIA (who are representative of over 200 million drivers and their families) since 1993; see link below. Some would have you believe that if that was the case then surely McLaren couldn’t have won any titles during that time. Fact is they’ve won 2.
    If you were or are a true fan of Schumi like me you would find it hard to believe his error at Monaco 2006 was deliberate and were disappointed he got penalised. But as was pointed out, Ferrari took it on the chin although it may well have been open to appeal. On the other hand not only the supporters of Lewis Hamilton but also the conspiracy theorists on this blog, have lambasted the FIA and Ferrari, and then McLaren had the hide to appeal a blatant error made not only by Lewis but the team around him. Again this whole affair smacks of sour Grapes on the part of McLaren and their fans! Not to mention the Ferrari haters, as far as they’re concerned that’s just jealousy…….

    End of Story, Closed, Ende, Vertig, Se fini and Yibida Yibida That’s all folks!

  145. your off your dial aussileb. if you think Schumachers actions at Monaco were not deliberate then your a bigger conspiracy theorist than anyone else.

    Your argument is simplistic, Ferrari have won the last 6 WDC, the reason they didnt win before was because they were awful, the FIA cant polish a turd as the expression goes.

    The FIA are not deliberately favouring Ferrari BUT Ferrari is very important to F1, otherwise its just a load of mass market car makers on a jolly. Ferrari has the name, the image, the history, the everything the rest hasnt.

    If i worked for the FIA id still want them to do well and maybe id subconsicously favour them. Id also get a bit sick of Ron Dennis constant whingeing. Politics and the art of successful relationships will always swing decisions your way or away. So stop thinking with your Ferrari hat on and just think about it rationally.

    I still dont know why a ferrari brief was there, was he an observer or was he involved? ? Keith any answers?

  146. Antonyob – I think the suggestion that Ferrari shouldn’t have had a lawyer there is wrong. It says in the Appeal Court rules that teams with an interest in the hearing may send representations. As Raikkonen was involved in the original incident and Ferrari stood to lose points if the appeal were overturned, I think it’s quite fair they were allowed to state their case.

  147. The strange thing for me is not that there was Ferrari lawer, but this state:

    12. Regarding admissibility, Ferrari also claim that the penalty imposed in the present case constitutes a drive-through penalty, which is not susceptible to appeal pursuant to Article 152.

    may be Ferrari must be there to represent what happened on the track, not what stewards decide … just my thoughts …

  148. @AussieLeb

    I must admit that I’m a sucker for a petite blonde and Kimi fits the bill perfectly :~)

    I too am a Schumi fan, I love the guy and regularly defend him in arguements with my friends but even I have to admit that his parking incident at Monaco was so blatent an attempt to prevent anyone else setting a faster time it could not go unpunished.

    Schumi was great but he was also ruthless, that’s why he won so often, he was willing to do things that some other drivers wouldn’t and on some occassions he definately crossed the line.

    Lewis’s indescretions have yet to even scratch the surface of Schumi’s form book.

    I think there would be a whole lot less Ferrari & FIA bashing if the FIA applied the regulations fairly & consistently.

    Remember the McLaren 3rd pedal ?
    FIA said it was ok but then punished them for it.

    Or more recently Spygate ?
    Ferrari had as much of McLaren’s technical info as McLaren had of Ferrari’s, Ron Dennis even advised the FIA that he thought they may be breaking the rules.
    The result, McLaren get hammered, Ferrari get nothing.

    Or Ferrari’s Floor ?
    Would there have been a clarifacation of the rules had it been McLaren or would we have seen them punished again ?

    I could give you countless other incidents that have gone in favour of Ferrari, be it them not getting punished when they should have been or other teams getting dubious punishments that benefited them.

    Obviously Ferrari have been punished a few times but not very often.

    As I’ve said before I love Ferrari and always have but even I can see that they have been on the right end of the FIA’s incompetence or cheating (whichever it is).

    Before Schumi joined them, bringing the sports best designers & engineers with him, Ferrari had not won a championship since the year I was born.
    The reason for this is the lack of investment and management at Ferrari, they were never really in a position to compete for the championship so there was no reason for the FIA to find in their favour.

    Since their resurgence though they have competed for every championship and could have won all of them, God knows the FIA tried for them.

    The FIA is stuffed full of ex-Ferrari personel, Max Mosely loves them & Bernie thinks F1 would die without them.
    We may even be getting Jean Todt as the next president.

    While Ron Dennis is a pariah in their eyes.
    Everything he says and does is bad and any punishment recieved is always punitive to set yet another example to the McLaren staff of why they shouldn’t even bother turning up.

    Ask yourself:

    How fair is this ?
    What impression does it give to the fans ?
    How does it make the sport look to the casual observer ?

  149. @Bebeboy.

    Thanks for enlightening me on the perspective of people that buy into the “favouritism” spiel.

    My point of view however will always be based on fact rather than hearsay. I say hearsay because, without seeming to pick apart your post, you are presenting a hypothetical in regards to “what if” it was McLaren with the floor. As for the pedal, I remember the incident well and I don’t recall a punishment any different to when Ferrari’s floor was banned. The pedal was OK’d by Charlie, yet as Ferrari felt McLaren had gained increased performance they were entitled to challenge. Likewise with Ferrari’s floor, as you said teams will push the boundries anyway and anywhere they can. Ron Dennis’s team spotted something different and at no point sought for Ferrari to be penalised. I recall an article I read at the time, in which a statement from Ron read to the effect “we seek to clarify the legality of…..” Why? Because if it was legal then they may investigate putting it on their own car. They did not seek a penalty.

    As for Spygate, I would hope that there is more to McLaren’s side of the story than “Ron Dennis even advised the FIA that he thought they may be breaking the rules”. It’s a big call to jump onto Ferrari’s case without having proper evidence. When the whole saga began it was a well presented case by Ferrari to which McLaren had no answer. If someone is seeking a counter claim it’s not enough to say “we think they are breaking the rules, now go and find the evidence” You need to provide some evidence that that’s the case.

    As simple as this might seem I have a classic scenario that taught me a good life lesson. I started working for a “Frame and Truss” manufacturer as a labourer after a failed bid at university (couldn’t afford to continue) Having lived a semi sheltered life up until then I learnt a few lessons from the many ex-cons that worked there. None more important than this. Guys would on occasion build little things out of timber and take them home, not having paid for the timber and while under company hours. Then one day a new guy started there and a few weeks later decided to wait until late in the afternoon, when the boss had left, to load his car up with timber off cuts for the heater at home. Nothing new to any of the guys working out in the factory but as luck would have it the boss forgot something and returned to work. He happended to see this guy loading timber into the back of his ute. Well to the boss he was stealing, so he promptly gave him a serve and fired him on the spot. The guy turned around and tried to justify his doings with the classic line “But the other guys do it all the time!” Well you know what the boss said? “Well they were obviously smart enough not to get caught!” So you may ask, what’s my point? I have more respect for Ferrari than McLaren because they have shown time and time again that they have their head in the game. It’s not because there’s a conspiracy theory against McLaren from Ferrari, with the help of the FIA, but rather Ferrari are better at getting away with things because they are smarter. This would no doubt be the bane of Ron Dennis’s exsistence.
    I respect your point of view but as I have said, the figures over the past 28 years prove to me that McLaren have had their time in the sun and of late Ferrari have been more dominant because they have been exactly that.
    Having rambled on however, I really want to say again that I hope and would love to see someone like Sebastian Vettel get behind the wheel of say a Toro Rosso Mercedes, for example. I believe the patriotic feel at McLaren deserves nothing less than say a resurrected Jag or Aston Martin engine in it! Or even better how about a Rolls Royce?

    By the way I was born ’77 which makes me your superior! In other words, respect your elders and don’t argue with me…….please?

  150. wow! what a long way to say Ferrari cheat better.

  151. Well I’d suggest it’s better than having nothing decent to say! Would it be a debate or discussion of opinions if we all just ridiculed each other?

    I don’t think I said Ferrari cheat did I? They’re just good at pushing the boundries and getting away unscathed, relatively.

    You must be a McLaren fan…yawn….zzzzzzzz

  152. You obviously dont read anyones posts but your own. I have always followed Williams (since ALan Jones in 1980) and im a big fan of Alonso and Hamilton as they race rather than just lap. But really i just like good racing, i left “favourites” in the schoolyard

    I guess it would suit your long winded argument to say i was a McLaren fan but im not particularly. Dennis has a chip on his shoulder and hes rubbed too many people up the wrong way to get any split decisions his way. Ferrari are like a snake, they hiss and spit if you come anywhere near them but are first to bite if anyone else steps out of line. The sport is morally corrupt so your sticking up for Ferrari is laughable..were it not so long in its point making

  153. You have just proved you ignorance. I wasn’t going to stoop to your level but that had to be said. The post you ridiculed was in response to a response from beneboy on my point of view. Which by the way was topical. So I would suggest you think twice before you accuse anyone of being self absorbed! I never said I was picking favourites. I said I respect Ferrari for their winning culture. I am also a supporter of Ferrari and feel the same way about McLaren as you do. The problem is Ron Dennis, IMO. I won’t be taking this argument any further but I would like to say that I don’t appreciate your attitude towards me and the fact that I was responding to a fellow bloggers post makes your comments rather ignorant. I apologise that I swore at you by suggesting you are a McLaren fan! But Williams…….? Good luck with that! ;-)

  154. Not sure how im ignorant because i dont agree with your point of view, or the length of time you take to make it. We’re not all glory hunters and ive got several years on you so i think i’ll decide when i want to let anything go. Id have thought as an Aussie you’d be a bit less thin skinned but you live and learn.

  155. just another version of catch 22

    (ma)fia style

  156. @AussieLeb

    Sorry mate, didn’t mean to get you into an arguement with someone else.

    I think on this one we’ll pobably have to agree to disagree, although I probably went a bit far on my last one due to my frustration after Lewis not even getting a hearing from the FIA.

    I’m not a big Lewis fan but I just wanted to get a full hearing so everyone could get their say and a full judgement to be given.

    I’ll try to calm down a bit before any future posts :~)

    I’d quite like to see a Rolls Royce in the back of a McLaren too but as they’re German too these days it would still be a German engine put together in England.

    Jaguar & Aston Martin aren’t ours anymore either.

    I don’t think we’ve got any British engines left as all of ours are foreign owned.

    Sad really.

  157. Cheers beneboy, I would have to say that I agree with you that in this case we’ll have to agree to disagree. At the time I made the comment about Rolls Royce I remembered they were bought by Mercedes, wasn’t it? But then I thought I heard somewhere that they were bought back by another British firm..anyway. I guess you could try to dump two Mini Coopers in the back of the McLaren, one for each rear wheel!!! As you may have read, I am German born. My Mum’s German but that’s about it as far as the German side goes. The other 99 percent of me is Australian with a glimmer of Lebanese. I have always found the German people to be very cautious when it comes to going out on a limb. Just an example, I don’t know if this a European thing, however, you can’t get a business loan from a bank in Germany, too risky they say. You have to go through a brewery. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that Mercedes aren’t willing to go out on their own either.

    Who owns Jag and AM? I thought Jag went the way of the Dodo, with Rover?

    As for the “argument” I had, it’s not really worth commenting about…waste of brain cells me thinks!!! In High School someone I knew once said to me “We should cull anyone over 65 and those with a mental disability they’re only wasting our useful oxygen” Obviously I was tempted to apply the last part to him but then again when you come across some people you can’t help but see where he was coming from!

    Take it easy beneboy and good luck to the English when you come down under for the Rugby League World Cup.

  158. …….and yet you keep commenting. listen mate nothing personal, if you cant disagree without falling out then you need to leave blogs alone, you’ll give yourself a coronary. I fundamentally disagree with you. full stop.

    oh and err the comment about culling , well from your fascinating potted history of yourself, what did we expect from a German ;)

    btw- im 38(yesterday) – still a few years to go – phew

  159. @AussieLeb

    Jaguar (and possible AM too I think) are now owned by TaTa, an indian company.
    They’re the ones who are building the $2000 mini car that was in the news a few months ago.


    Calm down a bit mate, Aussie was just replying to my post.
    I don’t want to get a rant of my own but please try to look at his comments with a smile rather than a grimmace.

    We’re all friends on here but sometimes it’s easy to get carried away when your typing, especially on a topic as heated as this one has been.

    No-one means any harm and we’ll all enjoy this site a lot more if we could laugh at others comments rather than getting upset about them.

    AussieLeb & myself very obviously disagree over this one but we both see it’s not worth falling out over, just shake hands and move on to the next point.

    Take care, both of you, and get yourselves ready for a, hopefuly great, qualifying at a new track.

    Come on Felipe, do us proud !!

  160. And HA HA to both of you, your both older than me :~)

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